Katy rode the right arm of quarterback Caleb Koger and the brother rushing duo of Seth and Jalen Davis, handing Shadow Creek a 49-24 season-ending defeat in the Class 6A Regional Football Semifinals Saturday afternoon at AISD Freedom Field.
The Tigers advance to face to Clear Falls this upcoming weekend in the state quarterfinals, while the Sharks close their season at 7-4. The loss was only the second in 15 postseason attempts for Brad Butler’s squad over the program’s short three-year history.
However, the Tigers dominated this contest throughout and withstood a pair of big plays by the Shadow Creek special teams and two fumbles early on.
Koger passed for 193 yards and five TD’s with the sophomore signal caller mostly getting to the SC secondary through the Tigers’ trademark play-action passing attack. Seth Davis powered his way to 149 yards on 28 carries, while brother Jalen broke the century mark with 100 yards on 19 carries and one TD.
The Tigers’ defense also sacked Sharks’ quarterback Kyron Drones a season-high six times, five of which came during the first half.
Shadow Creek came up with the game’s first break, as Terrence Cooks partially blocked Fuller Shurtz’s punt, allowing the Sharks to take over at the Tigers’ 33-yard line. Shadow Creek moved it to the Katy 22-yard line with a pair of first downs, but were ultimately forced to settle for Matt Allison’s 41-yard field goal with 8:12 left in the opening period.
The game’s first lead was short lived. Three plays following the ensuing kickoff, Koger hit Nic Anderson with a 50-yard strike and with Nemanja Lazic’s PAT, the Tigers claimed the upper hand at 7-3 with 6:53 still left in the first.
Shadow Creek proceeded to go three-and-out on their next two series and Katy promptly cashed in with a wide open Shurtz hauling in a 41-yard TD fling from Koger and Jalen Davis going in untouched from a yard out on a fourth-and-goal early in the second quarter to make it 21-3.
Special teams managed to keep Shadow Creek in the thick of things for a while with Byron Roberson breaking through the line to stuff another Shurtz boot and Dejuan Lewis scooped up the loose ball at the five and motored into the end zone to cut the deficit to 21-10.
Nick Hudson then recovered a fumble at the Katy 15 for Shadow Creek to stop a Tigers’ scoring threat on the ensuing possession, only to have Dalton Johnson’s ball strip two plays into the Sharks’ series result in Bobby Taylor’s 17-yard defense score from the fumble recovery to increase Katy’s lead back to 18 at 28-10.
Koger found Isaiah Smith from 10 yards out for a 35-10 Tigers’ lead at intermission and then hit Taylor Saulsberry with a 55-yard TD toss on the second half’s opening possession to increase the margin to 42-10.
Drones, who led the Sharks with 162 combined yards (rushing and passing), fired TD passes of 16 yards and 4 yards to C.J. Guidry and Lawrence Armstrong, respectively.
SHARK FOOTBALL NOTES - Jairo Castillo also recovered a fumble for Shadow Creek, which was caused by Thomas Davis knocking the ball free from Koger during the first half.